Ethics (ETHC) JHU-CTY Course Syllabus

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1 (ETHC) JHU-CTY Course Syllabus Required Items: Ethical Theory: An Anthology 5 th ed. Russ Shafer-Landau. Wiley-Blackwell The Fundamentals of 2 nd ed. Russ Shafer-Landau. Oxford University Press A notebook for completing writing assignments Course Description: is the study of how we ought to live. Since the ancient Greeks, philosophers have held ethics as one of the most important fields in philosophy because of its intimate ties with everyday life. During the first part of this course we will consider and critique different principles and theories which purport to explain what makes an action right or wrong, and what sort of character traits we ought to develop. In the second part of the course we will investigate the status of ethical theories and claims. We will attempt to discover whether there are objective truths about how we ought to live, or if ethics is ultimately a matter of subjective opinions and desires. In the final part of the course we will consider some practical ethical issues such as global poverty and animal welfare. Course Objectives: This course will serve as an introduction to philosophy in general and to philosophical ethics in particular. You will learn to recognize arguments and to assess them critically. You will gain practice in employing the philosophical tools of critical analysis in your own thinking and writing. You will lean to conduct research in philosophy and to organize the findings of your research into written form. You will consider the positions of historical thinkers such as Plato, Mill, and Kant, as well as those of contemporary philosophers such as Derek Parfit and Peter Singer. You will gain understanding of specific topics in ethical theory such as consequentialism, deontology, and ethical non-naturalism Expectations: You will be expected to read and analyze material from the course texts and handouts. You will also be expected to attend and participate in class. The instructors will attempt to provide interesting and informative material for you to read, give helpful lectures, provide assignments and activities that challenge and stimulate interest, be available to answer any questions you may have, and provide fair and timely evaluations of your achievement. Assignments: There will be occasional quizzes throughout the session. There will be a term paper assignment which will require you to construct an argument for or against a particular ethical view covered during the session. You will give formal presentations of your paper followed by a question and answer session with the audience (classmates, instructors, and other CTY staff members). In addition to these individual assignments there will also be many group assignments including formal debates, skits, presentations, and art projects.

2 Academic Integrity: We encourage you to discuss the material from this course with others. You must write the term paper on your own. Additionally, we expect students to be polite to each other and to the instructors. A polite person might say, I respect you and your intellect such that if I disagree with you, I will attempt to show you that my beliefs are right until you are convinced, or I am convinced that I am wrong. The subject matter of this course is often controversial, and involves beliefs forged by emotional experiences and family background. We will never make fun, ridicule or berate people in this class for holding a particular belief, but we may question a position in order to better understand and, perhaps, come to appreciate it. Also, please refrain from disrupting class (Turn cell phones, watch alarms etc. OFF; do not chat with classmates). Course Schedule: Day/Topic Session Subject Activities Day 1 (Monday) Introduction: Religion and Day 1 (Monday) Introduction: Religion and Day 1 (Monday) Introduction: Religion and Day 2 (Tuesday) Morning Introductions Pre-Assessment Objectives and Expectations What is? Afternoon Religion and Euthyphro Dilemma Evening Religion and Morning Classic Utilitarianism Ice-Breaker Link Pre-Assessment Name Placards Review Syllabus : goals and rules Writing Exercise: Why study ethics? Lecture/Discussion: What is ethics? Reading: FOE Introduction Lecture: Euthyphro Preview (intro ethics & Religion) Reading: ETA p Small group discussion Reading: FOE ch. 5 Assignment: ch. 5 discussion questions Lecture: Review Religion and / Introduction to Moral Theories. Reading: FOE ch. 9 Quiz on Logic and DCT Reading: FOE ch. 9 Lecture: Intro to consequentialism and utilitarianism : How plausible is utilitarianism? Video: Justice Episode 1

3 Day 2 (Tuesday) Day 2 (Tuesday) Day 3 (Wednesday) Day 3 (Wednesday) Afternoon Subjective and objective consequentialism Evening Mill Objections to consequentialism Morning The demandingness objection Afternoon Injustice and Rule Lecture: subjective vs. objective Skits Reading: FOE ch. 10 Reading: ETA p Lecture: Review utilitarianism Wring Exercise: Hedonism & Experience Machine Class discussion Lecture: The demandingness objection Small Group Discussion: How much can morality demand of us? Act Utilitarianism Case Studies Rule Game Day 3 (Wednesday) Evening Kant & Lecture: Rule Reading: FOE: ch. 11 Assignment: ch. 11 discussion questions Day 4 (Thursday) Day 4 (Thursday) Morning Introducing Kant The Good Will Autonomy Afternoon The Categorical Imperative Assessment: Quiz Lecture: Introducing Kant & Video: Justice Episode 6 Part 1 Lecture: Kantian Moral Worth Kant Art Projects Day 4 (Thursday) Evening Kant continued Reading: FOE ch. 12 Assignment: ch. 12 discussion questions (Extra Reading: ETA: )

4 Day 5 (Friday) Day 5 (Friday) Day 6 (Sunday) Presentations Day 7 (Monday) Debate and Virtue Day 7 (Monday) Debate and Virtue Morning Formula of Humanity Alienation objection Afternoon Moral Luck Moral Rationalism Moral Saints Divine Hiddenness Evening Moral Luck Moral Rationalism Moral Saints Divine Hiddenness Morning Introducing Virtue Afternoon Aristotle Golden Mean Writing Exercise: Cultivating Talents Discussion Lecture: Review Good Will and Autonomy: Introduce Formula of Humanity Video: Justice episode 6 Part 2 Reading: The Duty of Humanity : Alienation Objection Reading for Presentations Prepare Presentations Presentations Study for Quiz Lecture: Perfect and Imperfect Duties Case Studies Prepare for Quiz Kant Quiz Reading FOE: Lecture: Introducing Virtue Reading ETA Reading: ETA Lecture: Aristotle Activity: Golden Mean Skits

5 Day 7 (Monday) Debate and Virtue Day 8 (Tuesday) Virtue & Evening Objections to Virtue Morning Objections to Virtue Hursthouse Annas Reading: FOE: Assignment: Discussion Questions 4 and 5 Reading: ETA pp Assignment: 1 paragraph summary of central line of argument raise one objection Lecture/Discussion: Objections to VE and Hursthouse Popcorn Reading: ETA Silent Reading: ETA Lecture: How to write a philosophy paper Discussion paper pre-writing Day 8 (Tuesday) Virtue & Afternoon Review Virtue Short Essay: Discussion paper on Annas or Hursthouse Day 8 (Tuesday) Virtue & Day 9 (Wednesday) Evening Aristotle on the Good Life Introduce Morning Hobbes Rawls Lecture on Review Virtue Study for Quiz Reading: FOE ch. 13 Study for Quiz Assessment: Virtue Quiz Lecture: Hobbes and the social contract Veil of Ignorance activity Popcorn Reading: Silent Reading: Video: Justice Episode 7 part 2 Day 9 (Wednesday) Afternoon Rawls Lecture: Rawls Class discussion Video: Justice Episode 8 part 1 Reading: Nozick

6 Day 9 (Wednesday) Day 10 (Thursday) Ethical Relativism Evening Rawls vs. Nozick Prepare for Rawls vs Nozick Debate Morning Debate Prepare for Debate Debate Writing Exercise: Debate Reflections Day 10 (Thursday) Ethical Relativism Day 10 (Thursday) Ethical Relativism Day 11 (Friday) Moral Nihilism and Realism Afternoon Cultural Relativism Ethical Subjectivism Evening Moral Nihilism Part 1 Error Theory Morning Error Theory Nihilism Writing Exercise: Is Relative? Pair/Share--Discussion Popcorn Reading: FOE ch.19 Discussion Lecture: Introducing Metaethics Reading: ETA: Assignment: 1 page summary Lecture/Discussion: Relativism and Subjectivism Popcorn Reading: FOE p Lecture: Mackie & Joyce Popcorn Reading: FOE p Day 11 (Friday) Moral Nihilism and Realism Afternoon Nihilism Presentations: 10 Arguments against moral realism Day 12 (Sunday) Realism Evening Internal and External Reasons Lecture: Introduce Parfit Reading: Parfit on normativity and reasons Day 13 (Monday) Realism & Term Papers Day 13 (Monday) Realism & Term Papers Morning Non-natural realism Lecture: Metaphysical objections to realism Reading: Parfit on ontology and normativity Metaethics Art Projects Afternoon Term Paper Study for quiz Assessment: Metaethics Quiz Lecture: How to write a philosophy paper Term Paper Pre-Writing

7 Day 13 (Monday) Realism & Term Papers Day 14 (Tuesday) Term Papers Day 14 (Tuesday) Term Papers Day 14 (Tuesday) Term Papers Day 15 (Wednesday) Animals Day 15 (Wednesday) Animals Day 15 (Wednesday) Animals Day 16 (Thursday) Global Poverty Evening Term Paper Term Paper Pre-writing Morning Term Paper Computer Lab Afternoon Term Paper Computer Lab Evening Paper Presentations Paper Presentations Morning Animal Welfare Writing Exercise: Do animals have rights? Reading: ETA ; Lecture: Animal Welfare Afternoon Animal Welfare Prepare for Debate Evening Animal Welfare Debate Morning Global Poverty Reading: Singer Solution to World Poverty Reading: Pogge Day 16 (Thursday) Global Poverty Afternoon Global Poverty Health Impact Fund Lecture/Discussion: Pogge Day 16 (Thursday) Global Poverty Evening Post Assessment Review Post Assessment Day 17 (Friday) Conclusions Morning Conclusions What Matters Most Reading: Parfit p ;

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